March 29, 2010
Conservatives aim to reverse political financing reform
OTTAWA -- Senior Harper advisor Tom Flanagan has let the media know the Conservative government will be campaigning against the political financing reforms brought in by former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
"There are few areas in current politics where Canada is the envy of the world, but our political campaign financing rules are fairer than those in most nations," said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, "While south of the border huge corporate donations wreak havoc, our system makes corporate donations illegal. The Conservatives want to go back to the bad old days of corporate deep pockets."
Canadians were recently horrified by the acrimonious debate in the US over reforming their health care system. Even though the proposed reform still involved for profit health care, the insurance companies fought it tooth and nail. Congressmen did too-- recipients of huge donations from those corporations.
"Canada did away with this unhealthy influence by banning corporate donations. Neither trade unions nor Bay Street can overtly influence the political process. To meet legal requirements of fairness and the Charter, those donations were replaced with a simple public process, with funding based on the number of votes received. The whole system is a small amount, but, in the guise of attacking taxpayers supporting political parties, the Harper Conservatives will be trying to kill that important political reform."
The Green Party hopes an engaged and informed discussion prior to the election will increase public support for the current system.